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Poster: Staraker Date: Jan 3, 2011 6:40am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

I take it that you're talking about the Archive Media Publishing Ltd./"Cayman Classic Horror" series? If so, I'd dispute your earlier claim that, "the copyright lobby incorrectly reported them as unclassified," as it's clear from the BBFC database that a number of the titles had never been classified for video release by any distributor, let alone Archive Media, e.g. King of the Zombies. Of the five titles that were initially pulled because they lacked BBFC certificates on the covers, Atom Age Vampire had never been previously certified for either cinema or video, Horrors of Spider Island & The Monster Walks had no previous video certfication and had actually been rejected for the cinema, and The Monster Maker & The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues only had previous cinema certificates. Archive Media retrospectively had the five titles certified for video on 09-10 November, but they are in fact the only one from this series that they did submit (in fact, Archive Media only appear to have submitted nine titles for certification in all). It's highly doubtful that for the rest that any of the previous video certifications (some of which are more than ten years old) could have been legimately transfered to Archive Media.

The above is, of course, a separate issue from the copyright status of each individual film, but it clearly indicates that this particular distributor had scant regards for how things should be done. Did they actually have a clue what they were doing? Or did they think they could get away with wilfully ignoring the law on certification if they churned the discs out as quickly and cheaply as possible over a limited time period?

I would question whether existing or prospective genuine public domain distributors are as powerless as you suggest. No, there are no specific penalties for misrepresenting copyright ownership - whether in genuine error or as wilful harrasment - but any company whose legitimate business is affected by such actions would certainly be able to sue for appropriate damages in general terms. Again we come back to the apparent unwillingness of those supplying purportedly public domain material in the UK to press their case legally, and that's the only way any legal precedence is going to be set.

This post was modified by Staraker on 2011-01-03 14:40:14

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 3, 2011 6:37am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

I can only go on what people tell me. It is just as likely that, as the company who ordinarily deals with music releases (generally with certification exemption), they might have innocently overlooked the certification requirements of their first collection of feature films. They also may have received bad ratings advice from their licensor, misinterpreted the requirements to re-certify a film for home video that had been certified for cinema (my understanding of the regulations is that they could legally rely on a previous video certification if the film contained in their DVD was the exact same film submitted for the video certification and no material was removed or added, whereas they could not rely on cinema rating because of the change of format).

I think, based on the tone of your posts that it is becoming increasingly clear that you have some undeclared vested interest here.

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Poster: Staraker Date: Jan 3, 2011 8:53am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

Sorry, but that won't wash. A simple Google shows that "Archive Media Publishing" is self-declared as being a "new company," but that doesn't excuse an ignorance of the business area they're attempting to move into. This is reinforced by this (found only a few minutes ago):

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/59563/pages/19025/page.pdf

This notification of a dispute with the MCPS suggests that there are issues around their music releases, as well, since without a licence they are - obviously - unlicensed. This seems a bit like someone setting up a restaurant while failing to address local Health & Safety or Environmental Health rules.

LOL! "Undeclared vested interest"?! I work for the National Health Service (you know - doctors, hospitals, etc.), not any media company, law firm, the BBFC, FACT, MCPS, or whatever. A few years back - as I previously made quite clear - I was involved in one DVD release of one 1936 film (i.e. Things to Come). As I also said back then, if would actually suit my own interests if that film could be proved to be in the public domain in the UK, since I run an extensive website about it. The same applies to a lesser degree to a 1957 (pre-1 June) film that I intend to devote similar (although not as extensive) attention to (i.e. Yangtse Incident). However, my own reading of the various UK copyright legislation leads me to the conclusion that neither film can be argued as being in the public domain in the UK, although clearly Yangste Incident would have been, had it been released a few months later.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 3, 2011 4:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

The notice you linked:

COPYRIGHT DESIGNS AND PATENTS ACT 1988
COPYRIGHT TRIBUNAL REF 116/10
Notice is hereby given of a reference to the Copyright Tribunal under sections 119(1)(a) and 121(1) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 by Archive Media Publishing Ltd, The Barn, Cutler’s Farm Business Centre, Edstone, Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, B95 6DJ (Reg No 04073150) (the Applicant).
A dispute has arisen between the Applicant and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Ltd (MCPS), Copyright House, 29-33 Berner’s Street, London WIT 3AB (the Respondent) concerning the Respondent’s refusal to grant a DVD1 Agreement licence in accordance with the MCPS DVD1 scheme and the alleged imposition of additional conditions on the Applicant prior to admittance to the scheme. The
Applicant seeks a DVD1 Agreement licence which it contends is in accordance with the standard conditions of the MCPS DVD1 scheme.
Any organisation or person wishing to object to the Applicant’s credentials or wishing to be made a party to the proceedings should apply to the Secretary of the Copyright Tribunal in the manner prescribed in Part 1V the Copyright Tribunal Rules 2010, within 28 days from publication of this notice.
Catherine Worley, Secretary, Copyright Tribunal, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3HF. Email catherine.worley@ipo.gov.uk(1216697)


Where does it say that their music releases are unlicensed? Where does it even suggest or imply that their musical releases are unlicensed? This appears to be a normal dispute arising with a statutory mecahnical licensing body during the licensing process. All it says is that they are in the process of applying for a statutory licensing scheme which has been denied and the company is applying to the copyright tribunal to resolve the dispute.

As you are now getting into specific statements about specific organisations that could be potentially interpreted as libellous I think I am going to leave you alone on this one.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-04 00:28:10

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Poster: Staraker Date: Jan 4, 2011 12:48am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

That's an interesting reaction, since you've not been shy about throwing various accusations at other parties, e.g. your demonstrably spurious claim that, "the copyright lobby incorrectly reported [Archive Media's DVDs] as unclassified."

It is, however, not "libellous" to speculate as to the possible situation behind the above notice. Clearly Archive Media Publishing thought that they needed a DVD1 Agreement licence when they applied for one, but the MCPS refused. The notice was published on 1 October 2010, yet it seems that the company has been offering for supply or actually supplying music DVDs in the UK since 2008. Either they applied for the DVD1 licence because they were about to release material for which one was required, or they were retrospectively applying for a licence they should have had earlier (perhaps someone else with more time/inclination can determine if their existing music DVDs would have required it). How much of the benefit of the doubt they can be given can be judged by the clear evidence that they did not apply for any BBFC certification for some of their film DVDs until after they were pulled up about some of them not being certified, while others remain uncertified for video release. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the dispute, especially the reasons why the MCPS chose to refuse Archive Media's application in the first place.

This post was modified by Staraker on 2011-01-04 08:48:39

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 4, 2011 2:33am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

They are disputing refusal to grant a DVD1 Agreement. A DVD1 Agreement is a user reported blanket licensing system, whereby the registered user reports their usage of repertoire music and pays royalties on a quarterly basis. As this is not the only way to license musical works for inclusion in DVD videos (mechanical and synchronisation licenses are available on a single case-by-case basis) there is no valid foundation to support the "speculation" that the company has released unlicensed music videos.

Where I have spoken in general terms and not mentioned the names of specific organisations, you have effectively accused a specific organisation of an illegal act that you have no evidence that they have committed. This is an area I am not willing to go into further.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-04 10:33:59

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Poster: Staraker Date: Jan 4, 2011 7:57am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Sinister Cinema FAKE copyright claims.

I can't help wondering if you would be so keen to disengage if some supposed transgression by "the rights lobby" was being highlighted? Yes, you do seem fond of speaking "in general terms" and not naming "specific organisations," yet in the Poundland case you gave enough away for it to be analysed and - to be frank - your version of what happened to be found wanting.

No, a DVD1 licence is not the only way of licensing musical works on DVD, and it may very well be that Archive Media Publishing had previously and quite properly obtained individual one-off licences. On the other hand, an initial search of the London Gazette and IPO websites suggests that this is the first case of the MCPS has been taken to the Copyright Tribunal for not granting a DVD1 licence, quite apart from the fact that cases actually going to that Tribunal in general are pretty rare to begin with. This is obviously an exceptional case, and the full facts have yet to become known. AMP may very well be entirely "innocent," but the fact that they demonstrably ignored - or were ignorant of - the relevant legislation in relation to BBFC certification of their film DVDs certainly tells us something about the "character" of the company. I would suggest that were this case actually newsworthy, such additional "circumstantial evidence" would be seen as significant enough to be included in any reportage.

Your faux outrage at VMP's business practices being highlighted or questioned rings rather hollow when viewed alongside your constant accusations against the UK "rights lobby" for real, imagined, or speculated wrongs on their part. You also falsely accused me of having some "vested interest" in outlining my interpretation of UK copyright legislation, although in a very real sense I, as a UK citizen and resident, clearly have more of a legitimate interest in the laws of my own country than someone from outside of it who seems very much to be pushing their interpretation of the same legislation, in what I can only presume is in furtherance of their own vested interest.

As I said some time ago, my understanding of that legislation does not prevent me from doing anything that I am actively doing. In some respects, in fact, it confirms that certain things I am doing (i.e. use of photographs from Things to Come* on my website), I am free to do so with impunity. I also fully intend to take advantage of the lapse of the copyright on all of H.G. Wells works, but am patient enough to wait until 1 January 2017, since six years is not much, and also it's enough time to work on what will be quite a large project at the same time as "the day job."

I do actually think that it would be good if what I understand to be the terms of the 1956 Act as regards 1 June 1957 to 31 July 1989 films could be properly established in law, and I would be the first to condemn any individual or organisation that tried to claim rights over any such film contrary to them. Perhaps what is needed is an accurate database of British films that records when they were registered/released, and when they entered or will enter the public domain.

Nice blog, though. I'll have to take the time to look through the Sherlock Holmes stuff when I'm not at work!

This post was modified by Staraker on 2011-01-04 15:57:15